A Guide To Understanding Common Treatment Options For Depression After A Pregnancy Loss For Mourning Mothers
If you have recently experienced a pregnancy loss, it is important to be familiar with the symptoms of depression and aware of the treatment options available to you if you suspect that you have become depressed. In addition, it will also be helpful to be aware of the differences between the normal grief that is common after a pregnancy loss and depression, which can impact your life for a long time in a myriad of ways. Since at least one out of ten pregnancies will end prior to 20 weeks, you are not alone in your loss...even though it may feel as if you are.
Knowing The Differences Between Grief And Depression
Unfortunately, there is not any clear cut definition for grief and there is not a pre-determined amount of time for you to grieve after the loss of your baby. Instead, you should consider how your feelings have evolved in the weeks and months after your loss. Your hormonal fluctuations after a miscarriage can often make the situation even harder, but overwhelming grief, anger, and trouble completing normal daily tasks are all normal after a pregnancy loss.
If you still feel the same amount of grief, are unable to get out of bed in the mornings, or cannot find any joy or happiness in positive experiences months after your miscarriage, you may be depressed. In that instance, it is time to speak with your physician about arranging for counseling, medication, or a combination of both. However, it is important to note that you can still miss your baby and grieve for years without being depressed.
Understanding Your Medication Options
If your doctor agrees that you are depressed, he or she may offer a variety of prescription medications. Since research suggests that depressive disorders are more common in women who have experienced a pregnancy loss, it is crucial to be able to advocate for yourself or to allow someone you trust to do so for you.
Antidepressants may help you to recover from depression, but taking them is not like taking an over-the-counter pain reliever for a headache and does not provide instant results. It will take at least two weeks and could take up to eight weeks to notice an improvement in your symptoms. There are numerous options to choose from and each medication may present with its own side effects, such as reduced sex drive or even an exacerbation of your depression symptoms. Therefore, you should discuss with your physician or psychiatrist what the least invasive, most effective medication would be for you and to know what harmful side effects you should watch for.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy for the people around you to know what to say or how to treat you after a miscarriage. While many people may want to help you, they might not know how. That means that you can find talking about your emotions and the loss of your child to be particularly difficult, which can contribute to or trigger your depression.
In that instance, it is a good idea to consider counseling. While one-on-one counseling may be helpful, group counseling with other women or couples who have experienced a pregnancy loss is also a viable option. While grief after miscarriage is normal, everyone grieves differently and you may need to try more than one type of counseling to find one that you are comfortable with.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that the unexpected loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks of gestation is a sad event and you should be sure to allow yourself adequate time to mourn your loss. However, it is not unusual for your normal grief to turn into depression. If that occurs, the information listed above will help you to recognize the symptoms of depression and know what you can to do to treat your illness.